Desirable candidate characteristics for microsurgery fellowship applicants still remain unclear, as no data are available in the literature. This study aims to provide information on the criteria that are used to select and rank applicants for the microsurgery fellowship match.Methods
A 38-question survey was sent in April 2015 to all microsurgery fellowship directors (n = 36) involved in the U.S. match, using QuestionPro Software. The survey investigated various factors used for selection of applicants, including medical school, residency training, research experience, fellowship interview, and candidate characteristics. A 5-point Likert scale was used to grade 33 influential factors from 1 (“not at all important in making my decision”) to 5 (“essential in making my decision”), or for 5 controversial factors from 1 (“very negative impact in making my decision”) to 5 (“very positive impact in making my decision”).Results
A total of 53% (19 out of 36) of responses were received from microsurgery fellowship directors. The most important factors included letters of recommendations by microsurgeons (4.6 ± 0.5), interactions with faculty (4.6 ± 0.5), overall interview performance in the selection process (4.6 ± 0.5), and professionalism and ethics (4.4 ± 0.7). Factors that had a negative impact on the selection process included graduate from a non-U.S. plastic surgery residency program (2.1 ± 0.9), graduate needing a visa (2.3 ± 0.8), and graduate from a foreign medical school (2.4 ± 1.0).Conclusion
This study provides data on the microsurgery fellowship directors' perception of the criteria important for applicant selection and shows that the most valued criteria are letters of recommendation, interactions with faculty, and interview performance.